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Yes, Cyberattacks Are Perfectly Legal Under the Laws of War

March 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What’s the fastest way to annoy someone who works in national security? Just say "cyberwarfare" on repeat and watch them combust. The term is meaningless in the worst way—it puts the imagination into paranoid overdrive and is not limited by any legal definitions. All the rules we’ve got on armed ...

Memorable Moments From a Departing Telecom Regulator

March 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One of the country’s top federal regulatory officials is resigning. Robert McDowell, one of two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission, said Wednesday he plans to step down. He doesn’t have anything lined up—except for a vacation—which is about the most boring plan, ever. But after his seven-year stint ...

The Future of Data Security

March 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine a library. Every night, the library locks its doors. But one night, a burglar manages to get in. All the books and manuscripts are gone, right? Not in this library. You see, in this library, most of the books themselves are locked down, and the ones the robber does ...

What's Missing From the GOP's Technology Strategy?

March 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Republican National Committee’s sweeping new strategy document admits what observers have been saying since the GOP lost the White House for the second time running last year: The party faces an identity crisis. How the report suggests fixing that, as my colleague Matt Cooper notes, is mostly a matter ...

Is One Act of Cyber Vandalism Worth 25 Years in Jail?

March 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Matthew Keys is in some hot water. The deputy social media editor for Thompson Reuters was federally indicted Thursday on three counts of conspiracy to hack the Tribune Company, his former employer. If he's convicted, Keys faces up to 30 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. According to the ...

Who's Going to Blink First on Cyber — Obama, or the House?

March 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration will now have to weigh in sooner rather than later on a highly contentious cybersecurity bill moving through the House. With two days to go, a public plea for Obama to stop the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, has crossed the 100,000-signature threshold required ...

How the Humble Telephone Is About to Bring Internet to the Masses (Again)

March 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Ten years ago, if you went to pick up a phone call, your voice would have been carried across the same copper-wire technology that powered America’s very first telephone system. Today? With recent advances, at least some of your call would be routed through pipes that also carry Internet traffic. ...

How Many Cyberattacks Hit the United States Last Year?

March 8, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Thanks to the warnings of senior lawmakers and Obama admiistration officials, Americans are growing more aware of online vulnerabilities that could lead to a “cyber Pearl Harbor” attack. By definition, such a catastrophe would be extraordinarily rare, its chances perhaps no more than one in a ... what, exactly? It’s ...

Democrats' Dilemma on High-Skilled Immigration Reform

March 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For years, the phrase "immigration reform" has meant two things for Republicans: a contest to see who could be toughest on the 11 million people living in the United States who aren't supposed to be, and a flood of proposals to fortify the nation's borders. For Democrats, the term has ...

That Was Quick: Now There's Legislation on Cellphone Unlocking

March 6, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow From the beginning, White House petitioners looking to keep phone-unlocking legal have insisted that they want Congress’ help. Barely a day after their first victory, in which the Obama administration expressed support for consumers who want to switch wireless carriers while being able to take their phones with them, the ...